Monday, November 21, 2011

West Indian Jerk Chicken

Despite living in the West Indies for nearly 10 years, we don’t often cook West Indian cuisine. My preferred meal is any kind of carb and lots of cheese (favorite food= fried mozzarella sticks). Not a lot of cheese in West Indian cooking. Curiously, goats are raised here and goat meat is popular, but I can’t find anyone making goat cheese, one of my favorites. One of my first jobs on island was working for a resort, whose employee cafeteria served local food. I got to try all of the favorites: oxtail stew, goat water, funji, saltfish, and callaloo. I was very appreciative of the salad bar.

I do, however, like a good jerk chicken, and husband found a recipe that sounded similar to one he likes at a local restaurant. Lots of ingredients, but fairly straightforward and easy to make, a gravy rather than a rub. He served it over a rotisserie chicken from the market ($6.99 while a similarly sized uncooked chicken can average $12. I have never understood that.) On the side were boiled sweet potatoes (actually U.S. yams. The local sweet potato has a similar taste, but a blue-grey color that just doesn’t appeal to me.) and pigeon peas in sauce over rice. This was my new food for the week, pigeon peas. They kind of look like a pea but taste like a bean, straight from the can in a sweetish sauce. Good in the context of the meal, but I’m not sure if I’ll try them again. The verdict on the jerk sauce: I loved it but T thinks it would make a better marinade, and that it was too vinegar-y.

We came in right on budget, $105 for the week, and this is what we ate:

Sunday: Ok- I hate to admit this, but my very favorite frozen pizza is Totino’s party pizza. I know all the ingredients are ultra processed, the crust is nothing but grease and air, and the ingredient list is as long as my arm with words I don’t know, BUT, a weakness and a splurge. The market had them on sale, so I bought a couple, added some pepperoni, and ate a whole one by myself.

Monday: Oh lasagna, how I loved having you in the freezer! This was the last of the 6 I made and froze earlier, and we have had at least one a week. I may be tired of lasagna for a while.

Tuesday: Falafel with cucumbers, red onions, and homemade tzatziki sauce on pitas. I used to make my own falafel from chick peas, but tried a box mix on the recommendation of a friend, and it was much better.

Wednesday: We had planned on eating out with friends, but that was cancelled at the last minute, and I hadn’t been to the market, and didn’t feel like going, so put together what I could with what I had. I ended up with toasted bread topped with a fake chicken patty, turkey bacon, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and marinara sauce. I don’t know what to call it, but it was good!

Thursday: Polish sausage with pierogis and sauerkraut. Yum.

Friday: Rotisserie chicken with stuffing and Caesar salad. Stuffing is another weakness. I could make a whole meal out of nothing but stuffing.

Saturday: Husband dragged me to new Twilight movie, so it was popcorn, French fries, and a slice of veggie pizza.

Wow, I feel like we ate a lot of junk this week! I resolve to eat more fruits and veggies this week. Since I neglected to take any food photos, here’s the view from my window at my studio.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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